Ireland welcomes China’s leader-in-waiting
IRELAND: China's leader-in-waiting Xi Jinping arrived for a three-day
visit to Ireland on Saturday after pledging continued support from the
Asian power for the EU's efforts to tackle its debts.
The Chinese Vice President was greeted by Ireland's Deputy Prime
Minister Eamon Gilmore at Shannon Airport, western Ireland, after flying
in from the United States where he met with President Barack Obama.
Xi, who is expected to lead the rising Asian power for a decade
starting next year, was to sign several cooperation agreements during
the visit, which comes nine years after his first trip to the eurozone
Ahead of his arrival, Xi told the Irish Times he believed the
economic problems facing the European Union, Beijing's biggest trading
partner, would eventually pass.
“China does not think one should 'talk down' or 'short' to Europe,
because we believe that the difficulties facing Europe are temporary,”
the vice president said in an interview.
“The EU and the governments and people across Europe have the
ability, the wisdom, and the means to solve the sovereign debt problem
and achieve economic recovery and growth. “We have offered sincere help
to our European friends in line with our means, through increased mutual
investment and business cooperation,” he told the newspaper.
“China will continue to support, in its own way, efforts of the EU,
the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund in
addressing the European debt problem.” Arriving at Shannon, Xi said the
main purpose of the visit was to “deepen the traditional friendship”
between the countries and to have an “in-depth exchange of views” on the
further development of China-Ireland relations. Gilmore said Ireland
attached “great importance to widening and deepening” bilateral
relations and the visit would be an “opportunity to promote and expand
the strong business ties between China and Ireland”.
Xi's trip follows high-profile visits to Ireland last year by Obama
and Britain's Queen Elizabeth II.
Xi will hold talks with Prime Minister Enda Kenny and attend an
Ireland-China trade forum in Dublin on Monday involving about 300
He will also visit an economic development zone in Shannon, the
famously beautiful Cliffs of Moher on the west coast, a dairy farm and a
demonstration of Gaelic games, Ireland's traditional sports. Sunday, AFP